Early release for driver responsible for death of pedestrian
THE Wangaratta truck driver imprisoned for causing the death of pedestrian Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Brown on the morning of January 16, 2017 has been released after serving 106 days of a nine month sentence.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday set aside the sentence of imprisonment and community correction order imposed by the County Court on Aaron Bell, and then sentenced him to a two year community correction order.
Mrs Brown’s husband Peter said he was devastated when police informed him of the Supreme Court hearing outcome on Wednesday.
“I can’t believe this has happened,” he said.
“What was the point of it all; Bobbie’s family has to go on for the rest of our lives with this tragedy and the person found guilty gets released early.
“No one has paid for it.”
Mr Bell, then 28, was sentenced by Judge Michael McInerney on July 18 this year at Wangaratta County Court for dangerous driving causing death after the truck he was driving struck Mrs Brown while she was crossing at the intersection of Ryley and Warby streets in Wangaratta.
Judge McInerney also cancelled Mr Bell’s driver’s licence for a period of 18 months.
At the time of sentencing Judge McInerney said he had “considerable disquiet” about the sentence, taking into account multiple factors including Bell’s remorse and family support.
However, due to the maximum penalty involved with the charges and the nature of the dangerous driving, he considered a CCO alone would be insufficiently punitive.
Full details of the appeal hearing are expected to be made available today by the Supreme Court.